NPR recently released their 50 Best Albums of 2018, and while I reviewed several of the albums on that list, there were four I wanted to hear more of. This will probably be my last album review post of the year UNLESS you have a favorite album of 2018 that I absolutely must listen to and post it in the comments.
Artist: Alice Bag
Release Date: March 15, 2018
Favorite Tracks: Turn it Up, Stranger, White Justice
Alice Bag is a new discovery to me, but she was a member of the Bags, one of the earliest members of the Los Angeles hardcore punk scene in the 70s & 80s. She remains an activist as well as a musician, her voice now having the wisdom of age to pair with the punk rock hooks.
Album: Orquesta Akokán
Artist: Orquesta Akokán
Release Date: March 30, 2018
Favorite Tracks: Mambo Rapidito, Un Tabaco para Elegua
Thoughts: Daptone Records, who revived classic soul music with Sharon Jones, does the same for classic Cuban music. I don’t know much about mambo but this is a damned good album.
Album: Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa
Artist: Jeremy Dutcher
Release Date: April 6, 2018
Favorite Tracks: Mehcinut, Ultestakon, Sakomawit
Thoughts: Canadian composer and singer Jeremy Dutcher draws upon First Nations’ music for his classical compositions. The pieces grow from samples of early 20th-century wax cylinder recordings of Wolastoqiyik songs.
Artist: Colin Self
Release Date: October 30, 2018
Favorite Tracks: Story, Quorum, Stay With the Trouble (For Donna),
Thoughts: Composer and choreographer Self mixes classical arrangements, electronic dance music, and a soaring falsetto. Collectively the songs work toward the idea of creating family for among people who identify as queer.